From left: Tom Schlum, Capitol’s director, head of technology; Capitol staff engineer Steve Genewick; Paula Salvatore, Capitol’s senior director, studio; Al Schmitt; Royer Labs’ VP of sales, John Jennings; and Greg Parkin, Capitol’s director of operations, Studio & Mastering.
Capitol Studios, housed at the famed Capitol Records building in Hollywood, recently added four new Royer R-122V vacuum tube ribbon microphones to its microphone locker. Capitol is a full-service facility that handles every aspect of the music production process, including tracking, scoring and stereo/surround sound mixing.
“Capitol Studios’ microphone collection is a highly treasured and much sought after part of our history,” says Greg Parkin, senior director of operations for Capitol Studios & Mastering. “It is quite difficult to rival some of the big hitters we have in our historic collection. We are, however, always looking to expand on the services and equipment we provide.”
Parkin oversees Capitol Studios’ management team and is in charge of equipment procurement, facilities and staff. He explains that Capitol chose to acquire the Royer R-122Vs because of a longstanding relationship between the two companies, and because Capitol’s engineers regularly use Royer microphones in their work and overwhelmingly requested the R-122Vs.
“Our studios are a place of experimentation and innovation, and Royer embraces that spirit as well,” Parkin says. “When I see iconic engineers such as Al Schmitt utilizing the Royer 122-Vs on his tracking dates, it seemed appropriate to extend that option to everyone who works here. When our staff agreed that these microphones provide superb clarity and detail, the choice was easy. I am quite certain these will be highly requested from now on.”
“Ribbon mics are essential in today’s digital recording environment,” says Schmitt, who was nominated twice this year for the Best Engineered Non-Classical Grammy. “I’ve tried them all, and Royers are the ribbons I always end up using. I own pair of R-122Vs, which are very special microphones that seem to add another dimension to the recording process. I’m glad Capitol will have more of them on hand, and I know they will be very well received by everyone who uses them.”
Steve Genewick, a staff engineer at Capitol who frequently assists Schmitt, confirms that ribbon mics are becoming increasingly popular at Capitol, and Capitol’s clients often request them. “We’ve always used Royer mics, basically since we [first] found out about them. We’ve always had a lot of them, all the different versions, and we love them. Some of the older ribbon mics [are] not always in great shape. The tube mics are just incredible. [They] really hold up, and they can take the higher SPLs, too.
“Being ribbon microphones, the Royers tend to add warmth to digital recordings, so they compliment the recording process very nicely,” Genewick continues. “We make every attempt to get the best sound possible on input, and the Royers are a big part of that process. Every Royer mic here at Capitol sounds spectacular. Like our other microphones, the new R-122Vs will be accessible to all our clients in all rooms. Al Schmitt and I just used them as room mics in a brass section. We use these mics for a wide range of applications, including miking electric, jazz and acoustic guitars; as room mics for strings; as spot mics for woodwinds; on brass sections in big band sessions; and countless additional applications.
“They’re working out great,” Genewick concludes.